Avian migration is naturally a plastic trait, and tracking migratory birds is problematic because of distances andareas involved. Electronic data loggers (e.g. light-level geolocators, GPS/GSM tags, etc) provide a means todirectly follow several individuals and understand migration routes and geographic patterns of populationdisplacements in overwintering areas. Thanks to the collaboration between different projects (PRIN, LIFE+LIFE11/NAT/IT068), we tracked lesser kestrels equipped with GPS/UHF and GLS devices and we analyzed themigration data of more than 20 individuals breeding in different populations of Sicily (Gela Plain) and SouthernItaly (Altamura, Gravina). The weights of complete backpacks (transmitter plus harness) was within 3% ofindividual body mass. We used both visual observation of QGIS maps and standardized method based on netdisplacement (ND) to classify onset and termination dates of migration, duration of migration and migrationdistances of all individuals. At the end of the breeding season, lesser kestrels moved from their southern breedinggrounds to northern areas to spend the summer, thus confirming also for Italy the post-breeding behavior of mostWestern European populations. Migration departures data are concentrated in late September when the ItalianLesser Kestrels crossed the Mediterranean Sea and arrived straight to the Tunisian and Libyan coasts. Allindividuals overwintered in a large Sahel area, extending in longitude from Senegal to Chad. Individuals fromdifferent populations showed overlapping home ranges, and most of them showed small-scale winter movements,suggesting a progressive exploitation of winter foraging grounds. Spring migration started during the first weeksof March. The direction of return flight was similar to that of autumn migration, but occurred at a slower speedwith more stopovers and with less time spent in nocturnal flight.
|Numero di pagine||1|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2017|